Water plays an important role in maintaining a child’s overall health, such as regulating temperature, protecting sensitive tissues, transporting nutrients, and ridding the body of wastes. Drinking sufficient amounts of water can have many health benefits, such as reduced dental cavities and maintaining a healthy weight. Yet, most children and adolescents do not consume enough water.
States and school districts can improve drinking water availability to ensure that all kids, no matter where they live, have access to free, clean drinking water in school. Studies show when water bottle filling stations are installed in schools, students nearly triple how much water they drink at lunch time. Plus, the likelihood of kids in those same schools being at an unhealthy weight is greatly reduced.
Drinking enough water may also improve a child’s performance in school and has been shown to help with reasoning skills and short-term memory. It also can help with visual attention and fine motor skills, making it easier for children to learn what they are reading.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC now encourages staff and students to bring their own water to minimize use and touching of water fountains. In one study, water fountains and manual pencil sharpener handles were determined to be the germiest surfaces in classrooms. Water bottle filling stations and personal water bottles may help reduce the spread of germs and disease.
The American Heart Association Advocates
The American Heart Association (AHA) supports enacting policies that ensure all newly constructed schools and schools undergoing major renovations install water bottle filling stations as well as allow students to carry water bottle to schools.
- Download our fact sheet: What's the Germiest Thing in a School?
- Visit Healthy Drinks, Healthy Kids
- Voices for Healthy Kids: Water Access in Schools campaign toolkit
hero_image_alt_text===Girl with water bottle
thumbnail_alt_text===Girl with water bottle